Of Poznań’s many lakes it’s Malta - to the east - that is the best known, and its surroundings are well worth further investigation. Formed in 1952 as a result of damming the Cybina, this 2.2km long lake is the largest man-made lake in the city, with an average depth of 3.1 metres. Surrounded by parks and woodland, it is today one of the principal recreation areas in the region - in both summer and winter - with an ice-rink, ski slope (the first in former communist Europe), a world-class regatta course, zoo, water park, and dozens of other attractions, including several historical sights. Just east of the centre, but miles from the madness of the market square, if you’re in town to decompress, head to Malta.
What you see before you wasn’t always a lake, more of a river running by Poznań. In 1178 Prince Mieszko invited representatives of the Knights Hospitaller to the region, and they in turn built St. John of Jerusalem Church - now regarded as the oldest brick place of worship in the country. By 1530 the West European branch of the Knights had resettled on Malta, and so their order found itself renamed The Knights of Malta. The chaps who had come to Poland followed suit, and soon the locals were also referring to the area they decamped to as ‘Malta.’